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Volunteer to help stabilize the Golconda Mining Complex in Colorado

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Posted: 07/11/2013

Historic Preservation

HistoriCorps is a national initiative that works through partnerships to mobilize volunteers to save and sustain our nationís special places while providing educational and outdoor experiences. We are based in the Rocky Mountain region but coordinate and instruct projects throughout the United States. At the heart of the HistoriCorps program model is the engagement of a broad and diverse cadre of partners and volunteers. By working with constituents, partners and volunteers, HistoriCorps is implementing meaningful solutions that save special places for many generations to come. These critical partnerships will enable HistoriCorps to fundamentally change the way in which America saves and sustains its cultural and historic heritage.

Volunteer to help stabilize the Golconda Mining Complex in Colorado
Internship Opportunity
Gunnison, CO
Open Until
Until Filled

Sponsored by: Gunnison Field Office BLM (Colorado)

History:†The Golconda Mining Complex, which consists of the Golconda Boarding House and Compressor House, is nearly 100 years old. Located at the head of a stunningly beautiful high alpine basin on a spur of the immensely popular Alpine Loop Scenic Byway, a four-wheel-drive road that attracts over 100,000 visitors each summer, this unique complex is one of a kind in the San Juan Mountains. †The boarding house is nearly 100 feet long and 18 feet wide and is built in two sections. The building is an excellent example of a remote mine boarding house, very few of which are still standing in this region, especially not at 12,400 feet in elevation.† The compressor house contains intact machinery distinct to hard rock mining. This is the largest extantlog structure on the east side of the Alpine Loop that is accessible to the public.

Scope of Work:†Exposure to the severe alpine environment has taken a heavy toll on these impressive log structures. In its current condition, the boarding house is leaning downhill and threatens to collapse if intervention is not taken.† When completed, visitors will be able to safely enter and tour the structures.

The goal of the project is to stabilize and interpret the Golconda Boarding House and Compressor House located above the Alpine Loop in Hindsdale County.

Volunteers will learn to:

  • Evaluate and repair foundations and sills;
  • Reconstruct two collapsed frame additions;
  • Shape and install replacement logs;
  • Reconstruct and repair roofs;
  • Apply chinking and daubing to log walls;


  • Session 1: July 15th-19th (This session is FULL. Registering will put you on a waiting list).
  • Session 2: July 22nd-26th
  • Session 3: July 29th-Aug 2nd
  • Session 4: Aug. 12th-16th
  • Session 5: Aug. 19th-23rd

Location:†This project is located at the end of 4wd road on a spur off of the Alpine Scenic Byway, the spur is indicated as County Road 21 on many maps (the UTMs are: 37.964594,-107.55317). Camping is located on the west bank of the small tributary that drains Schaffer Gulch and Hurricane Basin, sixteen miles from Lake City, CO and 1.8 miles from the project.

Additional Information:† The project will be managed and supervised by two or more HistoriCorps instructors and will be designed to optimize learning opportunities. Camping, tools, safety equipment, and meals will be provided by HistoriCorps but transportation to and from the project is the responsibility of the participant. All crew members must be physically capable of lifting, climbing, bending, and kneeling for sustained periods each day at high altitudes in variable weather; previous carpentry, roofing/shingling, maintenance, historic preservation, landscaping, and/or construction experience helpful, but not required. If you have a fear of heights, this project is not recommended. Due to the high altitude of the work and the remote nature of this project, volunteers with existing heart, breathing, or circulation conditions are also discouraged from applying.

How to apply
To apply for this project please contact Amy Eller, HistoriCorps Volunteer Coordinator, at 303-893-4260 x 225 or aeller@historicorps.org or visit the registration page http://historicorps.org/golconda-mining-complex/
Amy Eller

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